NEW ULM - The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Highland Regency House was held Tuesday, but excavation crews have been working the past week, racing the winter weather to get the project going.
Highland Regency House is an apartment complex at 1520 Sunset Ave. in New Ulm. The 50-unit independent living residence is being built by Doneff Companies. Welsh Construction is the general contractor, and The Lutheran Home Association, headquartered in Belle Plaine, will provide property management services.
The project has been several years in the planning.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
A ground breaking ceremony was held Tuesday for the housing project located next to the Martin Luther College Early Childhood Learning Center at Highland Avenue and Sunset Avenue in New Ulm. Participants were President Mark Zarling - MLC, Rev. Michael Otterstatter - MLC, Professor Steven Thiesfeldt - MLC, Keith Wyman - Welsh Construction , Dawn Roberts - TLHA, Marianne Snyder - TLHA, Anton Doneff Sr. - Hometown Apartment Communities, LLC, Charlie Neitzel, President Michael Klatt - TLHA, Paul Holzhueter, Brian Tohal - New Ulm Economic Development Corporation, Kris Glaros Hanson - Welsh Construction, Elaine Neitzel, Debra Rothe - TLHA, and an identified person from Welsh Construction.
"I remember sitting with in Perkins with John Scharlemann (former vice president of mission advancement at Martin Luther College) and drawing up the plans for the building on a paper napkin," said Michael Klatt, president and CEO of The Lutheran Home Association. "That was seven years ago. We're thrilled the plans are finally becoming a reality, and the Lord has blessed this effort."
The vision for the building was developed with Martin Luther College, but the college has opted for a more informal relationship with the project, said MLC President Mark Zarling.
Doneff Companies, the developer, will be the owner and The Lutheran Home Association the property manager. But MLC is located nearby, and its new Early Childhood Education Center is right next door to the new complex.
Zarling said the college will be able to offer residents cultural, sports and entertainment opportunities, meals and opportunities for worship.
The proximity to the Early Childhood Education Center will provide opportunities for social interaction between the generations and volunteer opportunities.
"Some of our students are pre-ministerial, and I'm sure some of them will be willing to come and lead bible studies and other classes," Zarling said.
The building is expected to be completed in July 2014, and it already has a list of potential residents.
For rental information, contact The Lutheran Home Association at 1-888-600-8542.
Note: A photo of the ground breaking is on page 8A.